Microsoft has set its sights on the massive PC market as the next stepping-stone for its Netflix-like gaming subscription service, Xbox Game Pass. This announcement was made during the company’s recent Q1 2019 earnings call. There, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella briefly mentioned that the company has plans to expand the Xbox Game Pass service to PC.
Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service that grants over 100 Xbox titles (original Xbox all the way up to Xbox One) to Xbox One owners for the flat monthly of $9.99. This includes all first-party releases that are on Xbox One, with the recent Forza Horizon 4 being the latest first-party release to join the Game Pass line-up. That title garnered over 2 million players within its first week. Microsoft did not specifically mention if this was due to Game Pass. However, context clues indicate that this is more than likely the case. After all, it was paired with the Xbox Play Anywhere service, which allowed PC players to get in on the action too.
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That said, Game Pass technically already has made its way to PC with Forza Horizon 4, and also other Xbox Play Anywhere titles like Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection. Nadella did not specifically mention how Microsoft intends to expand the service’s presence on PC further. Signs point to support going beyond just the aforementioned Xbox Play Anywhere titles, though. It is highly likely the expansion will take place by means of the PC-compatible games that are in the Microsoft Store, for the obvious reason of those titles being overseen by Microsoft themselves, rather than third-parties such as Valve, EA, and Ubisoft. Those all have virtual storefronts of their own, after all.
Personally, I find this news quite exciting. I was able to handle the review of Forza Horizon 4 here on PC Invasion all thanks to Xbox Game Pass. I forgot the service existed until the game launched, so when I went to sign up, I was able to take advantage of the two-week free trial that all newcomers get. This experience made me really want more services like Game Pass to pop up on PC. Now that Microsoft plans to take it further, this may inspire other companies to do try their hand at subscription services of their own. After all, this move will very likely create even more competition between the Microsoft Store and other PC gaming hubs like Steam, Uplay, Origin, and others.